Tidal Flat Research Coleman Frederick

Cleaning spatula using DCM

Cleaning spatula using DCM

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Homogenizing Core Sample

Today at the Hearte Research Center, I started helping on the Oso Bay Tidal Flat research.  Dr. Silliman gave us a brief overview of what the research entails.  He explained that in the research they are looking at the carbon to nitrogen ratio in the core samples as well as a substance called Pyrene which gives information about pollutants in the soil.  In the carbon to nitrogen ratio if a sample  is 4-10: 1, then we know we are looking at evidence of algae being present.  When a sample is 20-30:1, then we know we are looking at evidence of land based plant life being present.  This researchers allows us to understand the type of environment that has been occurring in Oso Bay.   If there is a large amount of algae present in the section of core, then the evidence is pointing to a period of time that the area was under water.  If there is a large amount of land based plant material in the core then the evidence points to a period of time that the area was dry and had land plants growing.  Pyrene will let us know if there is an oil spill, pollutants, and other toxic items.

Who We Are

Coleman Frederick, Veronica Campbell, Ben Smith, Lisa Benavedez

What We Did

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Freeze dried samples in test tubes ready for homogenizing

  • Introduction to Tidal Flat Research
  • How to use lab equipment
  • Study Procedures
  • Safety Procedures
  • Importance of Work

What We Learned

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Oso Bay from Hearte Research Center

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Core sample and test tubes to be filled


  • How the research will be used to look at the history of Oso Bay
  • How to clean lab equipment correctly
  • How the cleaning agents work using polar substances.
  • How to use the vent hood to use volatile substances.
  • DCM is much heaver substance than petroleum ether because it is more dense


Questions We Have

  • What are some other implications to the study besides understanding the wet and dry history of Oso bay?
  • Are Indian artifacts found in core samples?
  • What animals are found in the core?

Connections to Teaching

Much of the study relies on the use of core sample to do research.  For a connection to teaching I would like to talk about what type of sediment are we working with.  Also talk about some of its features, which would lead to a discussion about metamorphic, and igneous rock and their qualities and features.